Maine’s Congressional Delegation and Gov. Janet Mills gave themselves a hearty pat on the back Tuesday for convincing Members of Congress to temporarily halt an unscientific regulatory crusade on the Maine lobstering industry.
“We have always said that we will pursue any and all policy solutions to protect our hardworking lobstermen and women along Maine’s coast,” they said in a joint statement emailed out by Mills.
“Our provision, which relies upon the expertise of the professionals at the Maine Department of Marine Resources, was included in the government funding bill released this morning,” they said.
The “regulatory pause” was written by Sen. Angus King, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Chellie Pingree, and Rep. Jared Golden.
Mills said the temporary block on new regulations will be included as part of the $1.7 trillion omnibus package currently being negotiated in Congress.
If it passes, the provision would grant the $1.5 billion-per-year lobstering industry in Maine a temporary reprieve from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) proposed new regulations — regulations lobsterman say will harm the industry irreparably for no good reason.
Maine’s Congressional Delegation has in recent years also voted to massively increase NOAA’s funding, meaning Maine lawmakers helped fund the very crusade they’re now bragging about halting — temporarily.
All told, NOAA’s funding has increased by more than $6 billion since President Joe Biden took office — all with the support of Maine’s elected officials.
And the proverbial Sword of Damocles still hangs over lobstermen’s necks: The forestalled regulations will still take effect in six years.
Apart from granting Maine’s lobstering industry temporary protection from the destructive force of federal regulation, the bill also creates $1,700,000,000,000 in new public debt. That debt will have to be paid off either through higher taxes or through the hidden tax of inflation.
The 4,155 page bill includes $45 billion more in aid for Ukraine. (That’s on top of the more than $91 million in aid that has already flowed from American taxpayers to Ukrainian oligarchs and arms dealers.)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was just exposed as having paid Twitter and other social media firms, to interfere in the 2020 election against President Donald Trump, is getting a shiny new headquarters.
$200,000,000 is going to something called the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund. That money “will help address the disproportionate impact that COVID-19, climate change, and conflict and crisis have on women and girls” in countries not named the United States.
$410,000,000 will be spent on border security for Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman.
$1.438 billion is headed to multinational organizations, like the United Nations.
$65 million will be spent restoring the pacific salmon.
There’s also a $575,000,000 set aside to fund abortions that will protect wildlife. Seriously. The bill states that “not less than $575,000,000 should be made available for family planning/reproductive health, including in areas where population growth threatens biodiversity or endangered species.”
Congress is still debating the proposal, but the Senate voted to proceed to consider the bill Wednesday, with both King and Collins voting in favor.
The $1.7 trillion in spending comes as the United States national debt stands at $31.44 trillion.